Just win, baby!

Just win, baby!

The new Fighting Illini look is a sure-fire conversation starter.

It's always exciting to get excited, but is the stylist uniformity over the Fighting Illini's new uniforms really worth all the superlatives tossed their way?

Fashion experts and people who know how to make money selling sports gear say they are. So it must be true.

Last week, the University of Illinois made public the Nike rebranding of its sports teams' uniforms and logos in a ceremony at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The look was variously described as "contemporary," "nice, professional, clean," "fresh and modern."

"It feels like pride; old and new together," said one fashion observer.

Who would disagree? The UI athletes from various sports looked great in their new threads. Even veteran sportswriter Loren Tate feigned excitement over the "flashy new uniforms."

Kids like bling in whatever form it takes. The billion-dollar sports gear industry is ample testimony to that reality.

So all the attention the Fighting Illini uniforms created, not to mention the highly publicized secrecy that preceded it, produced a buzz that created a hype that gave birth to a fashion trend flashing Orange & Blue — or not. We'll just have to wait and see.

But one thing is for sure. What really matters is that Nike and the UI sell lots of high-priced new gear to students and fans.

The new uniforms really are neat, cool, far-out, totally awesome, the bomb — whatever generational adjective one prefers. It's just a shame to mess them up with blood, sweat and, even worse, tears.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion